The flight was chocker as they say. Indians off on a jaunt, just like us, to Bangkok. For the majority, I suspect, it is shopping in the countless malls that are dotted around the city - judging by the number of plasma screens that came back with us on our flight they must be a bargain out there.
For us it is a break from the hooting and the pot holes. A chance to savour the spicy but simple Thai food and to enjoy its ordered society and polite people while exploring the history and culture of the city. Something I love about Thailand is that they are not afraid to use colours in their lives and bright ones at that. Their taxis are the most luminescent fuschia and orange, green and yellow and occasionally blue. It must have an underlying attraction to the customer as well as being eye catching. The Tuk tuks are equally colourful and quite comfortable as well .
On this trip we explored the canals of Bangkok. One major river runs through the city, the Chao Phraya river. This is fed or connected to a number of waterways which are a great way to travel - no traffic and no congestion- very cheap about 12 bhat a ride and very quick too. On the way I took in the wooden houses with their wardrobes on display and their rickety balconies which are a delight in themselves.
We explored the city's sights by taking the "klongs", the canal boats, up and down and then walking or taking a tuk tuk to our destination. The city was looking especially festive as it was Queen Sirikits 80th birthday. The Thais take their royals very seriously and they are deeply revered. There were pictures of the Queen everywhere at every stage of her life and the city was preparing for big celebrations.
We took the opportunity to visit the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho which is truly impressive in its size and golden splendour.